Lewis Hamilton’s puncture “probably” caused by debris, say Bridgestone

Bridgestone suspects debris caused Lewis Hamilton\'s puncture

Bridgestone suspects debris caused Lewis Hamilton's puncture

Lewis Hamilton’s puncture on lap 41 of the Hungarian Grand Prix was a turning point in the Hungarian Grand Prix as it ended any contest for the lead between him and Felipe Massa.

Hamilton slithered off the track at turn one with a deflated front-left tyre.

Inevitably this led to speculation about the cause of the fail with Hamilton’s notoriously abrasive driving style a primary suspect. But according to Bridgestone a preliminary check of the tyre suggests debris was to blame.

A Bridgestone press release said:

Regarding Lewis Hamilton’s tyre deflation, we are still investigating the reason for this as it is not immediately apparent from initial analysis, however a puncture from a sidewall cut looks to be the probable cause.

This supports what McLaren said during the race. Any further updates from Bridgestone will be posted here.

Hamilton also had problems with tyres at the Turkish Grand Prix, having to run a three-stop strategy because of problems he was expereincing

Given what Ferrari were saying about Bridgestone tyres before the race, it all seems rather ironic.

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15 comments on Lewis Hamilton’s puncture “probably” caused by debris, say Bridgestone

  1. Internet said on 3rd August 2008, 17:57

    Just to pre-empt anyone claiming it’s because Lewis is hard on his tires, just look at his third long stint on super softs.
    http://www.fia.com/hungarygp/documents/HUN_08_Race_Lap_Analysis.pdf

    He was running at the same pace as his first two stints and yet the super soft was fine. But someone he cannot manage a harder tire on a shorter stint? I don’t buy it.

  2. @Internet , i am sure u felt it during the race , if you watch live ..so i guess you should buy it :)

  3. Internet said on 3rd August 2008, 18:55

    Well, it can happen to anyone so I am not disappointed by Lewis’s performance. In face after some thought you realize that he’s actually extended his overall points lead. But I was surprised at how quick Massa was. Kimi on the other hand was disappointing.

  4. Salty said on 3rd August 2008, 19:00

    More info on this at autosport:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/69672

    However, worth noting Bridgestone doesn’t believe Hamilton’s driving style was cause.

    quote:
    Hamashima ruled out a stress failure or any problem relating to excessive tyre wear – as Hamilton has suffered in the past.

    “We could not see a problem like 2007 in Turkey, or the small problem in Turkey this year.” said Hamashima. “I think the tyre itself would have been no problem.”

  5. @Internet …in a circuit like Hungary , nobody can expect a guy to perform like a rock star if he didn’t get a good start …but i am sure lewis got a bad start ( kimi too) , unfortunately bad luck hit on lewis , which put him behind to one of the closest greatest WDC , but lewis great performance didn’t help to get past him, but Kimi pushed hard once he got away Alonso after second pits and back to the game ( In a way i agree with the definition of fastest laps by you , but i didn’t see such a performance from lewis , when he wanted such one ). I am not sure Kimi was disappointing or not , the way we thinking are different , so doesn’t make much sense to debate on the same :)

  6. Kirk said on 3rd August 2008, 19:30

    Did he not change his tyres at the first pit stop, though? That is what they said on 5-live… but I didn’t see it…does anyone know for sure? If he really didn’t, then McLaren’s strategy is called into question – again!

  7. Salty said on 3rd August 2008, 19:52

    Yes Kirk, they did change his tyres at first pitstop. That incorrect little snippet from 5Live caused quite some confusion and consternation during Keith’s live blog.

    Given Hamilton’s heavy tyre usage, not changing them would have been tantamount to a retirement. Though given some of McLaren’s decisions this year…

  8. I am interested to hear the outcome of this, since whatever affected Lewis also affected the Force India. Given the Bridgestone publicity aspect, I suppose they are bound not admit any faults with their tyres, or that they might have supplied the wrong compounds for the weekend.
    And I don’t see either FOM or FIA pushing Bridgestone to admit liability or deciding to change a lucrative tyre policy for next year….

  9. The Man said on 4th August 2008, 15:33

    @DG

    I agree with you that Bridgestone will never admit liability. Curious that Ferrari complained about tyres and Force india also had tyre issues with Sutil as well…

    Ah the days of tyre choice….

  10. Paige said on 4th August 2008, 16:10

    Hamilton has an abrasive driving style? That’s news to me. I’ve always thought of him as one of the smoothest guys on the track. He is aggressive, to be sure; you have to be to have the kind of pace he has. But he has always been quite smooth in the corner entry, transitions, and steering input; not as smooth as, say, Nick Heidfeld, but certainly a ton smoother than Alonso, who is by far the harshest driver on the circuit.

  11. Oliver said on 4th August 2008, 22:54

    If he was able to use the softer of the 2 compounds for half race distance, I do not see how is driving will kill of the harder tyres after just a few laps of driving it.

  12. pSynrg said on 5th August 2008, 0:24

    So, is this the best anyone’s got for Lewis now?

    Hmmm, maybe he’s hard on his tyres? Well, maybe he is maybe he isn’t. So what!? He’s consistently Fast. Every race, either ending in the back of someone else or whilst being pegged back for indescretions – he’s been right on the pace. Lady luck has been spreading herself very thin – so far this season everyone has had (or has not) a piece of her action.
    Oh, and Bridgestone! Make Better Tyres FFS at least match the skills of (all) the drivers. This is how lack of competition manifests. An average product.
    Come back Michelin, Pirelli – have a go Yokohama, anything to shake up the tyre issue.
    Me suspects inconsistent quality of each set of tyres to boot.

    Anyway, great battle Massa / Lewis – I hope this one will go to the wire – may the best man/team win (tyres permitting…)

  13. Paige said on 5th August 2008, 8:28

    Yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous that Hamilton would get criticized for being “hard on his tires.” Like another poster said, he went almost half of the race distance on the soft tires and was posting times that were competitive with others who had fresher soft tires. Clearly, he can manage tires.

    Hamilton is not an overly aggressive driver. He’s aggressive, yes, but you have to be in order to be as quick as he is. He is actually very smooth in transitions and steering inputs. He does have a tendency to be hard on the front tires, but this is mainly due to the stiff front setup that he uses.

    If you’re looking for a driver who has a style that is overly aggressive, look at Fernando Alonso. He is downright harsh with the car.

  14. Alex said on 5th August 2008, 17:18

    Sorry, Every time you see Lewis going into a corner he locks up his front left tyre. He was throwing the car over the new kerbs in an attempt to catch Massa. I’m surprised he doesn’t have more punctures or at least major vibration caused by flat spotting tyres while he races. I think Bridgestone are just being polite by saying it was “probably”.

  15. pSynrg said on 5th August 2008, 17:43

    Alex – granted, possibly… Conversely you could say Massa threw the race by driving his engine too hard? Although I would always expect the drivers to go as hard as their own ability allows and it’s up to the constructor (and associated components) to make a package that will match this ability.
    So if Lewis trashed his tires and Massa trashed his engine – then so be it!
    Lewis – again got a lucky ‘break’ (Monaco) – Massa of course did not…

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